“Urban Fold” Paper City Creator Set Puts Twist on Traditional Building Blocks

City Terrain, National
Friday, November 22, 2013
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(Courtesy Urban Fold)

Urban Fold caters to builders of all ages with an city planning toy entirely of paper. (Courtesy Urban Fold)

In a hybrid of LEGO and origami, Paper Punk has created their first boxed set of punch-and-fold, customizable paper building blocks. Urban Fold is the California-based company’s newest creation by founder Grace Hawthorne, a designer, author, and artist from San Francisco who currently teaches at Stanford University’s d.school (Institute of Design). The set gives builders the opportunity to create a paper city in punchy colors and patterns, inspired by Berlin graffiti and the photography of Matthias Heiderich.

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Andropogon’s Dual Design for Sustainability, Recreation in Philly

City Terrain, East
Friday, November 22, 2013
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(Courtesy Andropogon)

Water maintenance and feature within an urban community playground transforms Lower Venice Island in Philadelphia. (Courtesy Andropogon)

The Philadelphia Water Department wanted a 3 million gallon sewer overflow tank. Neighbors wanted maintenance of current community recreational space. Now, landscape architecture firm Andropogon has split the difference for Philadelphia residents concerned with the fate of Lower Venice Island. Using high performance landscape design, the firm has envisioned the 5-acre island between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal as a space for both water maintenance and for community promenade and play.

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University of Oregon Students Propose Sustainable Wood Housing in Brooklyn

Dean's List, East, West
Thursday, November 21, 2013
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Courtesy Grow Your Own City

Courtesy Grow Your Own City

With their winning design for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s “Timber in the City” competition, three students from the University of Oregon have imagined wood’s viable potential in prefabricated low-cost housing. Wood construction has been a popular topic at AN recently and the topic of our recent feature, Timber Towers. Benjamin Bye, Alex Kenton, and Jason Rood entered the design competition last year with the mission to create a community of affordable housing and wood technology manufacturing in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Awarded first place, Grow Your Own City proposes the use of CLT (cross-laminated timber) for construction of nearly 183,000 square feet of mid-rise housing, a bike share and repair shop, and a wood distribution, manufacturing, and development plant.

Read more about the proposal after the jump.

Three Designs Shortlisted for Nobel Center in Stockholm

International
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Nobelhuset  (Courtesy Nobelhuset AB)

Nobelhuset, a shortlisted entry by David Chipperfield Architects (Courtesy Nobelhuset AB)

The Nobel Foundation has officially launched an international design competition for the creation of a Nobel Center Headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. An architectural idea in existence since the 1990s, the Center will serve as a venue for the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, as a space for exhibition, public education, and meetings, and as a symbol of the honorable achievements of Nobel Laureates.

Previously, the Foundation released its list of twelve architectural concept winners. These anonymous entries were judged on general building design, structural relationship with the waterfront site on the Blasieholmen peninsula, and shaping the urban context for the proposed functions of the Nobel Center.

View the Designs After the Jump.

REX + Front Studio Create Sun-Responsive Shade to Protect Dallas Museum

City Terrain, Southwest
Monday, November 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Lexigon)

(Courtesy Lexigon)

Renzo Piano’s Nasher Sculpture Center was designed with natural sunlight in mind. A roof covered by pierced aluminum screens allows dappled light to enter its art galleries in subtle warmth. The outdoor sculpture garden is open to the elements and a specifically-planted landscape by Peter Walker reaps the benefits of the Texan sun.

Since its construction in 2005, the museum has become an icon of the Dallas Arts District. In 2011, a 42-story condominium building went up across the street, banking on the popularity of Piano’s art haven. While the glazed curved glass facade of “Museum Tower” offers million dollar views of the museum below, it burns the artworks and plants with a directed glare.

Now, a pair of New York–based architects might have a solution.

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Major Donation Completes Push for Tod Williams Billie Tsien Lakeside Center in Prospect Park

City Terrain, East
Friday, November 15, 2013
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Rennovated Wollman Rink at Lakeside Park will offer services during all four seasons. (Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien)

A renovated Wollman Rink will offer services during all four seasons, including its original winter ice skating. (Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien)

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park will soon receive a refurbished Lakeside Center, with help from a $10 million donation to the Prospect Park Alliance and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

The LeFrak family, real estate royalty within the borough and in the Tri-state area, has gifted the sum in support of the oft-delayed green space revamp, which finally set a completion date for December of this year. In the heart of Prospect Park’s 526-acre grounds, project restoration by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and construction company Sciame will redevelop the Wollman Ice Rink for use during all four seasons. This lakeside facility is to be renamed The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center, honoring the family’s philanthropy in Brooklyn.

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Zaha Hadid’s Miniature House Draws a Large Price Tag for Charity Auction

International
Friday, November 15, 2013
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(Courtesy A Dolls' House)

This Must Be the Place by Zaha Hadid Architects Racked Up at Large Price Tag for Charity Auction. (Courtesy A Dolls’ House)

Twenty of the world’s biggest architects were asked to design on quite a small scale last month. Cathedral Group commissioned architect-designed dollhouses for a charity auction to benefit KIDS, a United Kingdom-based organization supporting disabled children. A Dolls’ House sold the interesting toys a few days ago at Bonhams in London and Zaha Hadid’s 30-inch-by-30-inch, puzzle-like home, This Must Be the Place, received the night’s highest bid: $22,500.

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Gehry Gets Another Like: Architect Hired to Design Two International Facebook Offices

International
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
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Frank Gehry's plans for a new Facebook campus. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

After working with Zuckerberg on the new Silicon Valley campus, Frank Gehry is hired to design for Facebook internationally. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Facebook has chosen architect Frank Gehry to design the interiors of its relocated and expanded international offices in London and Dublin. This commission comes just a few weeks after Gehry was hired with Foster + Partners for the London Battersea Power Station redevelopment, his first project in the United Kingdom capital.

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New Vision for Penn’s Landing Unveiled, Now How to Fund It

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
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(Courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Hargreaves Associates renders the South Street Pedestrian Bridge as a landmark arched suspension into the new Penn’s Landing. (Courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Plans for Penn’s Landing have been floating around for several years now, but at a public meeting in Philadelphia last month, they finally began to crystallize. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), which oversees the 6 to 7 mile strip of waterfront property outlined in the Central Delaware Master Plan, has hired Hargreaves Associates—the firm responsible for the overhaul of Houston and Louisville’s waterfronts—to revive the deserted stretch along the Delaware River. New renderings revealed at the event connect Old City to the waterfront with a large promenade park featuring green space, mixed-use residential and retail buildings, and an expansion of the existing South Street Pedestrian Bridge.

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Wilkinson Eyre Repurpose the Battersea Power Station with Residences, Observation Tower

International
Monday, November 11, 2013
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Courtesy Wilkinson Eyre

Nearly 250 “Garden Square in the Sky” Apartments Will Form the Top Floors of the Repurposed Battersea Power Station in London. (Courtesy Wilkinson Eyre)

Last month, AN reported that the long-abandoned Battersea Power Station in London is moving forward with plans for architectural reuse and expansion. Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners are in on the plan for the surrounding residential neighborhood in London. Now, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, who have been chosen to repurpose the iconic power station building, has released official renderings of their vision for the Thames landmark.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam Restarts Campus Heart with Modernized Grounds

City Terrain, International
Monday, November 11, 2013
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(Courtesy Powerhouse)

The new campus heart of Erasmus University Rotterdam provides a contemporary space for student gathering. (Courtesy Powerhouse Company & DeZwarteHond)

This month, a newly opened public campus center brought the brutalist Erasmus University Rotterdam Woudestein Campus back to life. In a collaborative effort by several Dutch architectural firms, three projects have been realized at Woudestein to create a contemporary on-campus heart for student gathering. Integrating existing grounds of several elevations, the sustainably built center provides multi-level student resources and is the first phase of a university-wide redevelopment master plan, which will extend into 2015.

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Wealthy Neighborhood Coalition Demands Halt in Santa Monica Development Projects

West
Friday, November 8, 2013
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(Courtesy HKS)

OMA’s Proposed Expansion of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel is One Project Causing Debate in Santa Monica. (Courtesy HKS)

Just west of Los Angeles, a relaxed beach town on the California coast has recently received some major architecture news headlines. In 2013, some of the biggest firms in the country, from OMA to Gehry Partners, have set their sights on development projects in Santa Monica, planning to raise the skyline and increase the architectural density of the city.

Not everyone is happy about this attention, though. This week, Curbed LA reports that the Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition, a group of Santa Monica residents from the high profile neighborhood from Wilshire Boulevard to Montana Avenue, have called for a moratorium on all development plans in the city. With a unanimous vote at their annual meeting, the group pleaded with the City Council to stop architectural projects in Santa Monica until the solidification of a zoning ordinance next year.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

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